Kenneth P. Gurney



When you roll over in bed
you startle the wild geese
to such an unbelievable flap
that fifty-thousand rise and swirl
like the autumn leaves
carried in a circular wind
dusting along main street.

When you open your mouth
the sparrows nesting there
feed their young
and you find nothing strange
about lengthening the duration
of an imperfect umlaut
or inhaling a few down feathers.

When you return home
and set your bare feet
upon the ottoman
your shoes, tongues hanging out,
scurry over to their water dishes
and lap up the last drops,
then return to fall asleep
on the floor next to where you sit.

Your deepest silence
dances at the raucous May Pole
ribboned at the prospect
that a new passion
may take residence
somewhere inside you.


In the last blank space of wall
where the graffiti dwindles
down to nubbins,
empty spray cans
are a puppy litter
suckling at the brick
and I stencil my six letter word
in construction zone orange.

Last year’s leaves,
some pine needles and goatheads
cling to my wool shoulder
that brushed the damp ground
near where my careful placement
coated some straw-fringed adobe
and the smell of wet
wafted up from the leaky spigot
where the mice gather
to toast midnight.

Kenneth P. Gurney lives in Albuquerque, NM, USA with his beloved Dianne.
He edits the anthology Adobe Walls which contains the poetry of New Mexico.
His latest book is This is not Black & White. To learn more visit


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s